Stillness

Stillness

The souls of black folks

There have been many narratives of the tragedies that continue to plague to many African American men. Now that I am in the middle of my life, looking back it seems I was always within a whisper of becoming one these tragedies. But, with family, friends, coaches and teachers somehow I have been able to avoid the traps and dilemmas. For some individuals one mistake can be forgiven, but for African American men one mistake can be an avalanche with forces pushing you down and pulling you down. If you do not have the innate will to evolve, adapt and impose your existence as a intellectual being you will become invisible. This invisibility starts with how you see yourself and then how the world sees you. I heard a term or statement used today and it cause me to think. A panel was discussing the problems of Baltimore and how it is tied into every major city historically. The statement was made that there is a monetary value to ethnicity that determines public policy and business. This monetary value to race was created by the government, supported by business and condone by the citizens of this country. As I thought about this dilemma and all that has taking place just in the the last four years, it occurred to me as I was putting together my thoughts what the Kerner Commission reported in 1968, in 1944 Gunnar Myrdal’s “An American Dilemma; The Negro Problem and Modern Democracy ” and prior to this report W.E.B. DuBois great work of literature “The Souls of Black Folks”, published in1903. There are two words with many meanings I can’t get out of my head “The Problem”;

THE PROBLEM of the twentieth century is the problem of the color-line,—the relation of the darker to the lighter races of men in Asia and Africa, in America and the islands of the sea. It was a phase of this problem that caused the Civil War; and however much they who marched South and North in 1861 may have fixed on the technical points of union and local autonomy as a shibboleth, all nevertheless knew, as we know, that the question of Negro slavery was the real cause of the conflict. Curious it was, too, how this deeper question ever forced itself to the surface despite effort and disclaimer. No sooner had Northern armies touched Southern soil than this old question, newly guised, sprang from the earth,—What shall be done with Negroes? Peremptory military commands, this way and that, could not answer the query; the Emancipation Proclamation seemed but to broaden and intensify the difficulties; and the War Amendments made the Negro problems of to-day”.  (W.E.B DuBois, The Souls of Black Folks, Chapter 2, Of the Dawn of Freedom)

I have answer for the problem right now in this moment, but I do not have an answer for tomorrow. Right now it is stillness, and this is not stillness of action or not answering the call to action. I learn to process chaos with logic and do not even waste my time with rhetoric. Do not be afraid of what is past tense in the minds of those who execute implicitly and explicitly. This is a waste of time, and time is something no living entity can afford to lose. My peace, soul and will is the DNA of my stillness and I am quite sure my intellectual ego does not accept that I am the problem. Some of us are a cure. However, I owe my wife and children more; I owe my African -American brothers and sisters more, I owe those slaves and Africans who suffered inhumanity, indignities and death. I owe these individuals a life of no fear, a life being the best man, husband, friend and human being I can be. We as a people would not have reached this point without the sacrifice of other communities, ethnicities and religious leaders. If we are not making the effort, it is because we at one time or another needed a wakeup call. G.A.M. Chronicles is my wake up call, my Narrative, my Perspective. So, once my life is over, no one can define me but me. What has always been innate in me is that I have never been a follower. My perspective, thoughts and action are a sincere concern for the state of Black America.  Glenn D. Andrews, -G.A.M. Chronicles

 

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